Pete Davidson has been cast in the lead role for a new Netflix biopic about Ramones frontman Joey Ramone. I Slept with Joey Ramone is based on the memoir of the same name by Joey’s brother, Mickey Leigh. The casting has caused some fans to voice opposition.
Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens in 1974. They had very limited initial commercial success, but are often cited as one of the founding forces of punk rock. These days they are mostly a t-shirt worn by college girls who couldn’t pick them out of a line-up.
The announcement arrived on 15 April, the 20th anniversary of Joey Ramone’s death.
The movie is a joint project with Netflix and STXfilms. It has been in development since 2017 and will be directed by Jason Orley who has already worked with Davidson on Big Time Adolescence and Pete Davison: Alive from New York. Davidson himself will also Executive Produce. STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson issued a press release:
“When you share a bed with someone – and not just a bed, but a childhood, a family and a lifetime – you know that person better than anyone else.
Mickey Leigh not only collaborated with his big brother’s band—he has irreplaceable memories of and insights into Joey Ramone, having supported him when no one else would and witnessed him overcome adversity in the most dramatic way.”
I Slept With Joey Ramone is a great rock anthem that will make an equally great rock biopic, set apart by a universal story of family. Pete is perfect for this role and we’re excited he and Jason will be bringing this icon of rock to life and thrilled to be collaborating once again with our friends at Netflix.”
Davidson’s previously acting projects include roles in the comedies Set it Up and What Men Want, and a starring role in the 2020 film, The King of Staten Island.
The reception to his casting has been mixed. Writer Evan Rytlewski commented:
“This is good casting. Pete Davidson is a meh comedian and a boring public figure but sometimes a surprisingly decent actor in roles that don’t ask him to do much. Playing Joey Ramone is pretty low on the challenge scale. Also Pete Davidson is tall.”
Actor Michael Des Barres agreed it was good casting but Variety’s international editor Manori Ravindran dived onto social media and declared:
“Calling bulls*** on this casting right now. Adam Driver was destined to play Joey. Joey deserves better than this, damn it!”
A piece in Vulture also came out against this casting, describing Davidson as:
The Estate of Joey Ramone has given the project their blessing. There is no word yet on a release date, however, the soundtrack should be interesting.